Can Police Execute The Search Of A Vehicle Or Home Without A Warrant If They Have Suspicion Or Probable Cause That Drugs Are On The Premises Or In A Car?
Police aren’t normally able to execute the search of a vehicle or home without a warrant, even if they have suspicion or probable cause of drugs. Cars used to have an automobile exception, but that has changed with the legalization of marijuana. If a car is on the side of the road, the police can search it with probable cause. Sometimes they’ll bring a dog to go around the car. They can do that without a search warrant.
If you’re in your home, the police need a search warrant to go in. Currently, I have a big first degree marijuana case, which can lead to a conviction of up to 20 years in prison. The police were looking for a different person, but smelled marijuana in someone’s home and went into the home. They are not supposed to do that. They need a warrant before they can go into a home. There are exceptions, but unless you fall into one of the exceptions, the police need a warrant.
Can A Bystander Or Person In A Vehicle Where Drugs Are Found Receive A Drug-Related Charge Even If They Had Nothing To Do With It?
In New Jersey, a bystander or person in a vehicle can be charged with a drug-related offense even if they had nothing to do with it. If you’re found in a car with drugs, there’s a presumption that the driver knew what was in the car. For instance, if you pick someone up who has drugs in their bags or purse, and they put it in the backseat, you could be charged if you get stopped and the drugs are found. Therefore, you can absolutely be charged even if you knew nothing about the drugs. If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, most of the time you will get charged. It happens very often. If you’re at a house party when the police comes in and raids it, you could get arrested if there are illegal drugs even if you did not participate. The fact that you’re there will get you arrested, and you’ll have to fight your way out of it.
Will I Automatically Lose My Driver’s License If I’m Convicted Of A Drug Crime In New Jersey?
In New Jersey, if you’re convicted of a drug crime, there’s a mandatory loss of license between six months and one year. Many times, you will lose your driver’s license and ability to drive. There is no work license. There is no “I have to get my daughter to soccer license.” If you lose your driver’s license as a result of a drug conviction, you’re typically out of driving privileges for about seven months. However, sometimes there are exceptions. We find ways for the driver to keep their driver’s license. If convicted for a drug offense, the law says it’s mandatory. You’ll lose your driver’s license for about six months to a year.
What Are Some Of The Most Serious Penalties For A Drug Conviction In New Jersey For Possession And Distribution?
Possession for drugs starts with a fourth degree, which carries up to 18 months in the New Jersey state prison. Third degree is the most common. A third degree charge can be given for any kind of prescription drug, such as Xanax, or it can be cocaine or heroin. A third degree conviction can result in three to five years in state prison. It goes up from there. A first degree charge can result in 20 years in state prison. If you get a distribution charge, and it’s your first distribution offense, you could get probation or go to county jail for a while. Under certain criteria, a second distribution is a mandatory sentence of at least 20 months. It’s what they call mandatory extended term, which means that if you face three to five years, had a previous distribution, and get a second one, you will be bumped up. Instead of three to five, you will get five to ten. Also, you’ll get a mandatory extended term if you go to trial and lose. You’ll be sentenced to a degree higher than what you’re charged with.
It’s very important to figure out a way to work something out so that you don’t get convicted of a distribution offense, even if you were distributing or if it’s a first distribution charge. Our firm will try to get you a lesser or downgraded crime. We will also help by making sure that you don’t get set up to receive an extended term should you get arrested a second time.
For more information on Drug Cases in New Jersey, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (856) 499-8066 today.
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